Monday, November 28, 2022
HomePuzzlesSkull-and-crossbones fraternity for brief / MON 11-28-22 / Org. for HIV prevention...

Skull-and-crossbones fraternity for brief / MON 11-28-22 / Org. for HIV prevention and examine / Pepper measuring over 1 million on the Scoville scale / Like 86% of New York State, opposite to stereotype / Eminem hit that has turn out to be slang for a superfan / Wheeled car designed to operate in low gravity

Constructor: Chloe Revery

Relative problem: Challenging (for a Monday!)

THEME: HOPPING MAD (62A: Really miffed … or a touch to the circled letters) — phrases that means “mad” (showing inside circled squares) “hop” over a black sq., from the tip of 1 Across reply to the start of the successive Across reply:

Theme solutions:


Word of the Day: AMFAR (5A: Org. for H.I.V. prevention and examine) —

amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, recognized till 2005 because the American Foundation for AIDS Research, is a global nonprofit group devoted to the assist of AIDS analysisHIV prevention, remedy training, and the advocacy of AIDS-related public coverage. (wikipedia)

• • •

Loved this nifty, tight, Monday-type theme, however wow this didn’t play “Monday” for me in any respect. The theme, sure, the content material, yipes. Trouble all around the prime of the grid. I’ll begin with AMFAR, which I bear in mind, vaguely, from a very long time in the past, when A.I.D.S. was extra commonly within the information, however I’ve not seen that acronym in what looks like without end. Totally legitimate reply, however not Monday-easy for me. GHOST CHILI, additionally powerful for me. CHILI, OK, however I by no means take into consideration the GHOST CHILI … feels virtually legendary. “1 million on the Scoville scale”!? Not an on a regular basis factor, by an extended shot. Again, high-quality reply, however I needed to battle for it. FBI FILE, toughish to parse (7D: Certain assortment of felony proof and paperwork). Even AT CAMP (one of many weaker solutions) felt powerful to give you and not using a bunch of crosses (5D: Spending time away from dad and mom for the summer time, say). I’m far more acquainted with the MARS ROVER than the MOON ROVER, in order that was additionally powerful (3D: Wheeled car designed to operate in low gravity). But the hardest, and ugliest, and absolute worst of all non-Mondayness was SIG EP (1D: Skull-and-crossbones fraternity, for brief). Ugh. A frat? An abbreviated frat? At 1-Down!? On a Monday!? So yucky. I wrote in SIGMA and figured that needed to be it. Good sufficient. But *nope*. SIG EP? I’m certain I’ve seen it earlier than, however fraternities and sororities … possibly it is my explicit aversion, however I simply can’t hold any of them straight or make myself care in any respect about my incapacity to maintain them straight. The concept that I ought to know the slang time period for some frat … one thing concerning the very thought units my enamel on edge (is that the expression? “enamel on edge”?). Truly a horrible reply on any day, however particularly off-putting initially of a Monday puzzle. 

The factor is … you may see how the constructor received trapped into SIG EP. You cannot begin filling your puzzle with –G-P in place and never really feel at the least a bit of trapped. If it had been me, I’d’ve made it DIG UP and began filling From There (I see that DIG seems elsewhere within the present grid, however that is a simple repair). The complete NW would seemingly have been completely different, however it might’ve been price it simply to make the egregious SIG EP disappear. I did a fast teardown and rebuilt with DIG UP in that very same place, however with these two themers locked in, and MOON ROVER fairly properly caught in place, your choices up there (in need of an entire teardown) are very restricted. My model has APHRA Behn in it—she’s a very powerful English lady author / playwright of the seventeenth century and in a simply world, each her first and final names would seem a lot, way more typically in crosswords … however I freely admit that APHRA isn’t Monday-worthy both. Still, I a lot want this.

Anyway, it wasn’t the tougher-than-usualness that was annoying, it was particularly SIG EP that I wished to smash into items and throw within the rubbish. But the theme, mwah, it is superb. So properly conceived (versus WELL AIMED, which I do not actually imagine is a really robust standalone factor (34D: On the mark, as an insult or a dart)). Beyond SIG EP, the fill is at the least common in high quality. Nothing a lot to complain about there. This puzzle seems to be a debut, and at the least on the stage of theme idea and execution, it is spectacular. Those. circled phrases do imply “mad” and people letters do “hop,” so what extra would you like?

Seemed just like the grid was pushing the French a bit of exhausting: PARFUM *and* AU REVOIR in themer positions, plus the French-ish INGENUES. I’ll enable it, however that is about as a lot French as you wanna throw at a solver on a Monday with a not-specifically-French theme. I may do with out seeing SNAPE or any Potter stuff ever once more, however we have been over this. I assumed FIONA was MOANA, my unhealthy. Again, I ought to actually learn clues all the best way to the tip (58A: DreamWorks princess who stays an ogress after real love’s kiss). You cannot inform me the owl says WHOO one week after which flip round a pair weeks later and inform me it is WHO once more, come on (34A: Owl’s query?). Not a lot else to say about this one; the theme was nice, and although the NW nook confirmed some grid pressure (from the theme) and felt overly powerful for a Monday, the remainder of the grid performed simply high-quality. Promising work, for certain. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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